Fiona Apple ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’: What the Critics Say
Universal Acclaim For Scintillating Fiona Apple ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘
The way I feel about music is that there is no right and wrong. Only true and false. – Fiona Apple
Although it is early, it looks like cult-favorite Fiona Apple may be on her way to securing the top honor of 2020 best album for her fifth studio album, ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters.‘ Not that she or her fans care much for that type of honor. No doubt, Apple is an iconoclast. She has marched at the beat of her drum (sometimes literally) and to great musical success. That does not mean she has always been commercially successful, but we know great music doesn’t always equal commercially successful music. Prematurely calling Fetch The Bolt Cutters best album of the year may not do it justice. Fetch The Bolt Cutters is bold and intimate; it is raw and emotional; it is the perfect album to listen to while we are all in isolation too afraid to leave our houses. Apple once said, “music is not about right or wrong. Only true and false.” Fetch The Bolt Cutters is the truest. And it seems the critics agree. Check out what the critics are saying below. Also, make sure to read Emily Nussbaum’s excellent profile, “Fiona Apple’s At of Radical Sensitivity.”
What the critics say:
Independent’s Alexandra Pollad gave ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ five stars and says, “Manic descants, discordant pianos and abrupt changes in time signature at once complement and compete with each other in a carefully crafted clatter. The melodies are wonderful. The lyrics, too – conversational yet precise.” Full Review.
Pitchfork’s, Jenn Paley calls ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ “unbound, a wildstyle symphony of the everyday, an unyielding masterpiece. No music has ever sounded quite like it.” Paley goes on to say, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters seems to almost completely turn the volume down on music history, while it cranks up raw, real life—handclaps, chants, and other makeshift percussion, in harmony with space, echoes, whispers, screams, breathing, jokes, so-called mistakes, and dog barks…All of this debris orbits around the core of Apple’s music: her voice, her piano, and most of all her words, which have always been her primary instrument. It creates a symphony of the everyday.” Full Review.
The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick gave ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ five stars and calls it “a masterpiece for the #MeToo era.” McCormick goes on to say, “Given the circumstances we find ourselves under, it is welcome to receive an album that rewards repeated listening. Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters presents the volatile American singer-songwriter at her most raw and strange. Recorded over several years at her home in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, its unwieldy yet deeply felt songs defy conventional forms and arrangements.” Full Review.
Vulture’s Rachel Handler, who spoke with Apple and got “The Story Behind Every Track on Fetch The Bolt Cutters” says, “is like nothing Fiona Apple has done before, but the album is still recognizable as something only she could create. It’s purposefully unvarnished, a raw export from the inside of her brain: Her voice stretches and loops, morphing into Vipassana chants and spooky, surreal yelps; in the middle of one song, she messes up and mutters, “Ah, fuck, shit”; in another, she laughs as her dog, Mercy, licks her face.” Full Story
The Guardian’s Laura Barton gives ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ five stars and proclaims it as “a glorious eruption.” Barton goes on to say, “The Apple of 2020 is astonishing; as if she has returned to reinvent sound – the rhythms pleasing, but counter, and unusual. On the title track she half-sings over a makeshift orchestra of kitchen implements, dog bark and cat yowl. The beat on Kick Me Under the Table has a seething back-and-forth pace; the extraordinary For Her beds double Dutch skipping rope rhythms beneath a chorus of female voices.” Full Review.
AV Club’s Nina Corcoran says “Apple hits a zenith of liberation and experimentation,” and ” finds herself in a dizzying stretch of reclamation.” Corcoran goes on to say, “Unquestionably, Fetch The Bolt Cutters is Apple’s most intimate album yet (which is really saying something).” Full Review.
TIME’s Judy Berman says “Fetch the Bolt Cutters Is Raw, Introspective and Everything We Need Out of a Fiona Apple Album.” Berman goes on to say, “It offers us a roadmap to understand who we are and make peace with who we have been; to take responsibility for our worst selves and protect our best ones; to come out of our ordeal stronger, wiser, but still self-critical. From Fiona’s lips to God’s ears: We’re gonna be fine.” Full Review.
Los Angeles Times’ Mikael Wood says, “Fiona Apple’s stunningly intimate new album makes a bold show of unprettiness.” Wood goes on to say, “The result of Apple’s self-imposed social distancing is the stunning intimacy of the material here — a rich text to scour in quarantine. Her idiosyncratic song structures, full of sudden stops and lurching tempo changes, adhere to logic only she could explain, which forces you to listen as attentively as though a dear friend were bending your ear…” Full Review.
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt gives ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ an A- and says, “Fetch, which blossoms more and more with each listen, feels giddy too; high on romance and rhythm and the surreal gift of being alive.” Full Review.
NME’s Charlotte Krol gives ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ four stars and says, “‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’ will cut straight to the gut for Apple fans old and new, and leave behind indelible messages about her life and illustrious career, now spanning two decades. It’s an intoxicating listen – and one of her best.” Full Review.
Stereogum’s Tom Breihan says “Fetch The Bolt Cutters does not belong to any genre I can name. It doesn’t even sound like any past Fiona Apple album, save perhaps the furthest-out moments of When The Pawn… or The Idler Wheel… With Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Apple has made something that resolutely refuses to fade into the background, to become a soundtrack to someone else’s moment. Instead, she’s made music that demands attention.” Full Review.
Boston Globe’sMaura Johnston calls ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ “an ideal album for this decisively odd moment, its homemade feel (much of it was recorded in her house, with percussion partially supplied by objects around her home) and sense of awe giving it a defiant energy. … A thrill ride.” Full Review.
Variety’s Chris Willman said of ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ “time sequestered has not been time squandered: Her first release in eight years is album of the year material.” Willman goes on to say, the album “sounds as fresh as something that crossed Apple’s fertile mind 10 minutes ago. It may be way early to say it’s the most satisfying album of the year, but if there are any more to come along this good, 2020 is not going to feel like such a waste of time after all.” Full Review.
Consequence of Sound’s Irene Monokandilos says, “Apple’s fifth sonic paragon is more than just music for your quarantine blues; it’s a prescient, mordant, and unyielding judgement day for the wicked world around us and a wild birth of urgent, unconventional sound all wrapped into one. By way of clanging pots, clapping hands, screams, shouts, and yes, barking dogs, Fiona Apple triumphantly returns with her most untethered, challenging, raw, and liberating listen to date.” Full Review.
Rolling Stone’sClaire Shaffer gives ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters‘ 4.5 stars and calls it “a triumphant statement of self-discovery and solidarity.” Shaffer goes on to say, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters will not disappoint. Released with little warning nearly a decade after 2012’s The Idler Wheel…, the album sees the now-42-year-old songwriter proving that she’s still more than capable of telling off partners, detractors, and others who have done her wrong, all while picking apart the inner workings of her frantic mind. But what sets Bolt Cutters apart from its predecessors is that, for the first time, the scales tip more toward resilience than agony.” Full Review.
Don’t just stream Fetch The Bolt Cutters. Purchase it!